MINING AND PROCESSING
Conventional open pit mining methods will be utilized at Kirazlı with contract mining to be employed. The final pit designs are based on a 5 metre bench height. A traditional drill, blast, load and haul sequence will be used to deliver ore to the crushing circuit. Waste rock will be used as engineered fill for the leach pad foundation during the early years after which the majority will be sent to the waste rock dump and be used to backfill portions of the pit as the ultimate extents are achieved.
An opportunity to improve the design of the pit slopes at Kirazlı was outlined in the 2012 prefeasibility study and additional geotechnical work was subsequently undertaken. The geotechnical evaluation was based on core logging, point load testing and laboratory analysis of the geotechnical core holes. Based on the findings, the recommended inter-ramp/overall pit slope angles have been increased to a range of 40 to 48° depending on the sector of the pit. This has reduced the amount of waste to be mined, significantly lowering the life of mine waste-to-ore ratio to 1.45:1 from 1.83:1 in the 2012 pre-feasibility study. This has helped reduce the mining cost per tonne of ore and improved the overall economics of the project.
Processing and Infrastructure
Kirazlı has been designed as a 15,000 tonnes per day (“tpd”) heap leach operation utilizing a multiple lift, single use leach pad. Ore will be processed by primary crushing and open circuit secondary crushing to a nominal size of 26 millimetres. The secondary crushed ore will be drum agglomerated, stacked on the leach pad by conveyor stacking and processed with conventional heap leaching methods.
The crushed ore will be stacked in 10 metre lifts with the leach pad facility sized with a capacity of 35 million tonnes. This is approximately 8.9 million tonnes larger than the current mineral reserve to accommodate additional ore beyond the current mineral reserves. A dilute cyanide solution will be applied to the crushed ore over a 90 day leaching cycle with the pregnant solution collected and processed through the adsorption-desorption-recovery (“ADR”) plant where gold and silver doré bars will be produced.
Based on column tests conducted on the different alteration types at Kirazlı, gold and silver recoveries are expected to average 81% and 31%, respectively.
Power will be supplied from the commercial electricity grid with a new dedicated 30 kilometre long overhead line connecting the Çanakkale utility substation to the Kirazlı mine substation. In the event of a power failure, a diesel-fired backup generator will be used to supply emergency power.
Operational water will be supplied via a pipeline from a planned reservoir to be constructed by Alamos. In conjunction with the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs – State Hydraulic Works (“DSI”), a water reservoir project has been designed to supply the process water requirements of the Kirazlı mine and clean drinking water and irrigation for the nearby communities. The feasibility and design of the reservoir project has been approved by DSI.
Since acquiring the Ağı Dağı and Kirazlı projects in early 2010 and in line with the Company’s objectives of sustainable development and social responsibility, the Company recognized the importance of improving the quality of potable water delivered to the local communities within its project areas and has committed to the development of the reservoir.